News

Lahore High Court orders resealing of polluting industries

By Malik Ashraf

November 22, 2023 06:31 PM


The Lahore High Court Wednesday issued orders to reseal industries contributing to environmental pollution, emphasizing strict adherence to these directives, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Justice Shahid Karim heard the case related to combating the smog in the province.

He underscored the necessity of accountability, specifically demanding the disclosure of the names of officers involved in the unwarranted de-sealing of these polluting industries.

The court emphatically directed that no orders, except those of the High Court, should be followed, firmly reiterating a ban on the de-sealing of any previously sealed industry without its explicit approval.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the redesigning of roads for signal-free traffic, Justice Shahid Karim raised concerns about the methods employed, stating that the current approach by the relevant authorities, particularly the TEPA personnel, is flawed and may lead to an increase in accidents.

The court delved into the issue of crop residue burning, seeking a comprehensive report on the utilization of purchased machines aimed at preventing this environmental hazard.

Justice Shahid Karim, dissatisfied with the lack of information from the Agriculture Department, pressed for data on the number of farmers using these machines and the results achieved.

He also urged the formulation of a policy for the distribution of Super Seeder machines, emphasizing the need for transparency and efficient utilization of public funds.

Justice Shahid Karim directed the Punjab government to provide a detailed report on the machines purchased, which cost Rs100 million. He commended the efforts of the Lahore Commissioner for Smog but called for more proactive measures to address the challenges posed by air pollution.

Expressing displeasure, the court reprimanded the de-sealing of industries causing pollution, ordering their immediate closure. The court questioned the rationale behind the de-sealing of these industries, even in the face of orders from the Environmental Tribunal.

Turning attention to the redesigning of roads, the court interrogated Chief Engineer TEPA, expressing concerns about the potential consequences of such alterations. It sought clarity on the actions being taken and warned against similar developments on other roads.

Justice Shahid Karim acknowledged the suspension of 40 officers in Nankana for negligence and urged a continued strong stance against those failing to fulfil their duties.

The court, while adjourning further hearings until Friday, expressed hope that the Chief Minister would maintain active involvement in overseeing environmental initiatives.

Members of the Environment Commission, including Syed Kamal Haider and Hina Hafeez, presented themselves before the court, along with representatives from various concerned departments.

Deputy Attorney General Asad Ali Bajwa and Deputy Director of Environment Ali Ijaz Pesh represented the federal government and the Environment Department, respectively.


Malik Ashraf

Malik Muhammad Ashraf Khokhar is a senior court reporter with City News Network. He has been associated with the group since 2011 and primarily covers news related to the Supreme Court, and the judicial and administrative affairs of the Lahore High Court.


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